Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has been embroiled in war of words with the opposition Peoples Party (PP) after the party’s refusal to be summoned over a press release it issued pulling out of last week’s by-elections.
Last month PP pulled out of the by-elections on argument that it has lost faith in Mec’s ability to conduct credible elections, and only informed the electoral body of its decision through a press release.
The Commission reacted by summoning the party’s officials vice-president (Administration) Brown James Mpinganjira, Publicity Secretary Ken Msonda and Irene Chikuni (3rd Deputy Secretary General) for a meeting through a letter dated 2nd October, 2014 signed by Chief Elections Officer, Willie Kalonga.
However, the PP has been refusing to attend the meeting which was first set for October 6th “due to other prior arrangements”, prompting the Commission to threaten to deal with the party formed by former President, Joyce Banda.
In a latest letter Mec issued out on 11th October, the electoral body threatened to take unspecified action against the party if it fails to attend a meeting scheduled for Monday October 13th, 2014.
“Be informed that the Commission is summoning all the mentioned persons in the letter to attend this meeting and is not taking any excuse for failing to show up. The Commission expects you to comply with this order to attend the meeting at 10.00AM on Monday, 13th October, 2014.
“It is in the interest of the Commission to resolve matters with Electoral stakeholders at a round table but if pushed to the extreme, we will resort to other means,” reads in part the letter signed by
But PP through its Publicity Secretary, Ken Msonda has hit back, arguing the electoral body has no legal basis to threaten the party for ignoring the meeting, and that its officials were acting like
“people who have not been to school.”
Msonda responded: “Kindly be informed that none of the said PP NEC member(s) is attending your so called meeting. The Commission has no legal, ethical or traditional basis to force or threaten anyone to attend any meeting(s) organized or arranged by it unless you have a hidden agenda. I am at my best when threatened.”
The outspoken Msonda questioned the motives behind the meeting and further argued that Mec officials were throwing their integrity to the dogs.
“MEC insistence on the said meeting raises eyebrows. If the Commission feels injured by our press statement let it seek legal redress, we shall meet in Court where we shall present our evidence that the Commission contributed to recent past 20th May Tripartite General Elections. We have other important engagements to attend to rather than wasting our time attending a meeting whose agenda has no basis,” argued Msonda.
Six of PP’s members including the Secretary General Paul Maulidi participated in the recent by-elections dominated by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). PP managed to get one councillor out of two parliamentary and five councillorship seats.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :